Photo of the Week
February 4, 2001

Last week we had the new cement Balboa Theater as "Photo of the Week" and while many of us remember it well, do you know where the theater was before then?  Well this week we are going to see three photos of a progression to the new cement theater.  These photos and narration are from Canal Zone historian George Chevalier.

 Photo above: This is circa 1916 YMCA / Clubhouse and movies are shown upstairs in 2nd floor reading room. 

This is circa 1919 and shows the move to outdoors where the full theater will be built. Ground is slanted towards the front for visibility, Area is fenced in so you pay to be seated, sheet screen is hung down clubhouse wall, chairs are I assume of the folding type, that concrete blockhouse up on the left is the projection booth and when the theater is enclosed they will leave the booth standing at the rear of the theater were it will operate. This couldn't have lasted very long for the rain and mosquitoes would have been a force to reckon with. GC

This would be circa 1923 and the theater has been totally enclosed. Flooring is concrete and three sides are mostly screens to shut out light for daytime showings and to keep our rain storms. Was hot when canvas curtains were lowered. GC

Thanks George for sharing these great old photos and background info.  Another part of our great Zonian heritage.

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